May
28
2018

Oof: Solo opens so low*.

103 million for the weekend, which is pretty damned bad when compared to expectations and probably budget.  It’s usually a safe enough bet to count on Disney’s ability to make the sharp curve in time, but not this weekend; I was expecting $130 million.  Clearly, I was wrong. Good thing I don’t handicap movies for a living, huh?

Shame, though: Solo wasn’t bad, for what it was. And it may still generate legs and a sequel, because of [SPOILERS].  But there’s apparently a limit to how much Star Wars can be stuffed into a movie schedule.

Moe Lane

PS: I mistrust narratives.

*Line cheerfully stolen from Forbes.

21 Comments

  • Aetius451AD says:

    The problem is, even with the prequels, people expect better than ‘fine’ for Star Wars. They want the magic back. It is hard to create magic when you have… other priorities.

    I hear you on narratives though. Anyone remember Too Human? The thing is while the game felt half baked, I really enjoyed the completely different take on the formula they tried. I still have my copy- which I saw on something somewhere is an exceedingly hard thing to find. May have to pop it in and see if it is as fun as I remember.

    Speaking of narratives, I am almost through Mass Effect 3 in my grand Mass Effect Replay Tour. Some thoughts:
    .
    -Mass Effect 1 was not as large and grand as I remembered. It is interesting in that you cannot recreate the exact same circumstances you had when you first played it. It is still very good, but it is not quite as revolutionary narratively when playing through it 10 years later. The Mako was not as bad as I remember.
    -Mass Effect 1 feels empty. I know they were going for open vistas, but it feels empty.
    -Mass Effect 2 comes out looking amazing. It really was a quantum leap ahead. It holds up completely as an amazing narrative, gorgeous graphics, much deeper story and characterization and just fun gameplay- even 8 years later.
    -Mass Effect 3. It is an amazing game. The narrative and care taken with this game is just breathtaking. Barring the ending, which I see as jarring, but does not ruin all the other good things in the game.
    -The tone for ME3 is really a shift. I remember playing it for the first time and thinking, wow, they are really selling the hopelessness and desperation. However, for me at least, it does not cross the line into grimdark.
    -The gameplay is refined and improved. Honestly, probably the best in the series.
    -The Citadel DLC is the greatest piece of fan service ever made, bar none. Geez, it is fun. The little touches are amazing. Considering the tone of the whole game, it really does feel jarring: “Well, I can go do the Thessia mission, or I can get Grunt out of jail. Hmmmm, I think I’ll get Grunt out of the hoosegow.”
    -I have not done the ending missions yet (still have the Party to do as well.) Currently working on the Aria DLC.
    -The Leviathan DLC was another good touch of kind of horror/Cthulhu narrative.
    -I kind of think Andromeda may come out the loser in this retrospective. The gameplay is good, but the characters are bland after the original trilogy. I still think it was a great idea for a story (the frontier thing gets me going, probably why I like Fallout.)

  • UnmovingGreatLibrary says:

    I think Ace is right; Kathleen Kennedy knew this was going to be bad and announced the Boba Fett movie to try to distract from that.

    • bensdad00 says:

      Riddle me this, Batman… Why would anyone have high hopes for Boba Fett with the current producers track record of failure?

      • UnmovingGreatLibrary says:

        Given that, no one should have hopes, high or not, for Boba Fett, but it still served as a distraction, if only for a while.
        .
        I’m halfway curious about why it seems nobody has pitched reintroducing Mara Jade to Star Wars to Kennedy, like Dave Filoni did with Thrawn, but as I wrote that, I realized that having a fully canon Mara Jade wouldn’t do Rey any favors, so no.

  • Finrod says:

    Didn’t see Solo yet because I still have Deadpool 2 and Infinity War to see before Incredibles 2 comes out next month.

  • 1_rick says:

    “103 million for the weekend,”

    It’s worth remembering that’s a 4-day weekend.

    The 3-day weekend take was a bit under $85M.

    By way of comparison made $119 opening day.

  • JustDave says:

    I think part of the problem with the Star Wars movies is that most of the people who go see them no longer have the sensibilities of an eight year old anymore.

    .

    Even the beloved original trilogy wasn’t that amazing, and include their fair share stuff that doesn’t bear close examination.

    .

    But that said, yeah, it would be nice if Disney gave the appearance that their primary motive wasn’t to make back their $4B as quickly as possible.

    • acat says:

      I suspect it would’ve taken the sensibilities of a toddler to slide past Jar Jar ..
      .
      That said .. Solo is about the most tightly constrained IP Disney’s acquired ..
      .
      With “Force Awakens”, they got to write new material based on the prior history but without characters acting “out of character” …
      .
      With “Rogue One”, they got to write new material leading up to events that happened in Episodes I-VI ..but without any major retcons.
      .
      With “Solo” .. they’re both constrained by who the characters become and they can’t retcon..
      .
      It’s a tough act .. and – note that I haven’t actually *seen* ‘Solo’ – if it’s watchable, as Moe indicates, then they did pretty well **in sane terms**.
      .
      Mew
      .
      .
      .
      ** Star Wars fans are not sane .. although Rick & Morty fans are worse.

      • 1_rick says:

        “With “Solo” .. they’re both constrained by who the characters become and they can’t retcon..”

        What makes you think the people that deleted the EU can’t retcon Solo’s history?

        Having said that, they didn’t.

        • acat says:

          .. when did Disney delete the European Union, please?
          .
          Mew

          • UnmovingGreatLibrary says:

            At the risk of revealing a broken sarcasm detector, I’m pretty sure he was talking about the Expanded Universe.

          • acat says:

            Darn, I was hoping I could give up caring about “Getting Privacy Done Right” or whatever…
            .
            Yeah .. the thing about the Star Wars Expanded Universe is .. it’s not the movies.
            .
            Draw a circle. That’s all the people who’ve seen Episodes 4, 5, and 6.
            .
            Draw a smaller circle inside it .. that’s the folks who’ve seen Episode 1.
            .
            Draw a smaller circle inside it .. that’s the folks who weren’t turned off enough by Episode 1 to see Episodes 2 and 3.
            .
            Draw a circle taking up about a third of the space inside all those others .. that’s folks who bothered with the animated (but canon!) stuff between Episodes 3 and 4.
            .
            Draw a small circle, somewhere in the middle, so it partially intersects the above circle .. that’s the people who’ve seen the animated “Droids” videos ..
            .
            Draw another small circle that overlaps with the two above circles .. that’s folks who’ve seen the Holiday Special**.
            .
            Draw a fourth *very small* circle that intersects the above three .. that’s people who’ve read “Expanded Universe”.
            .
            Now .. think like Disney .. which group are you going to pander to, eh?
            .
            No offense, but .. the Kingdom of the Mouse does not care about the Expanded Universe, except as a source of possible side-plots.
            .
            Mew
            .
            .
            ** https://xkcd.com/653/

          • UnmovingGreatLibrary says:

            Of course Disney doesn’t care about the Expanded Universe. They’re the ones who erased it, after all.

          • acat says:

            By erasing Expanded Universe, Disney did Star Wars a favor .. it’d long since passed the RenFaire** fallacy ..
            .
            Mew
            .
            .
            .
            ** that thing at RenFaires where there are way more nobles and knights and ladies than there are peasants ..and nobody’s crippled or has cholera ..

          • 1_rick says:

            “Draw a fourth *very small* circle that intersects the above three .. that’s people who’ve read “Expanded Universe”.”

            I would suggest they wouldn’t have written the dozens and dozens of EU books if they weren’t making plenty of money.

          • acat says:

            There’s book-money and there’s Solo money and there’s Rogue One money….
            .
            Disney didn’t want their movie franchises tied down by book-money…. which is sad because the writing was better ‘n Luke and the Green Milk…
            .
            Mew

  • dljessup says:

    How much of Solo’s box office performance was due to the quality of the movie itself and how much was due to people being burned by _The Last Jedi_?

    • Canthros says:

      There’s no practical way to know which factors mattered to what degree, and too many factors in play (e. g. built-in issues with release date and competing films, audience disposition due to previous entries in series, anemic advertising, relatively short gap in releases, dubious PR efforts, bad press from high-profile production problems, etc) to really tie it strongly to any one thing, I think.
      .
      The longer I think about it, the more I wonder if Disney/LFL had basically written it off as a financial matter, and either needed to release it due to contractual stipulations or just wanted to use it to get the films back on the spring release schedule they had in planning since TFA was announced.
      .
      Might be a lot of uncomfortable conversations being had about the matter at LFL, this week, though.

      • acat says:

        I’m .. mostly wondering if this is more about Disney trying to meet wildly unrealistic expectations…
        .
        Mew

    • bensdad00 says:

      Anecdotally, we went to the movies Saturday night for Deadpool. Solo was on the biggest screens and no one….not one person… Was in line. DP was packed though, and there were lines for Avengers

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